And I wondered if the sight of me wavering excited you. Like a candle flame dancing, your palm held just inside the heat. Contemplating the risk of snuffing me out altogether. Extinguishing that light with one blow one fist closing tight. Did I excite? Not the exact word for tonight’s Quadrille prompt, but a form of it is there, and according to the rules that’s alright.
I’m very English sometimes, apologising to the stranger staggering by, shoulder swung into mine, sorry caught in the air with the dust cloud he trails. So I’ll repeat in case repetition makes up for distance, for an inability to find fire until much later on when I am a city or more away and still thinking about bone and muscle and a sharp snap of ‘move now!’ No please.
Some days I don’t need a husband I need scaffolding. So I can tend to the broken, the busted windows the cracking paint, the guttering that doesn’t drain when the rain comes in and all the sediment circling the drain but never quite clearing. Some days I need that from you, and nothing more.
In some cases, the letter won’t translate. Specified language is always a little tricky, not like asking for directions to the swimming pool, or how much for the loaf of bread behind the counter. You craft an art-form of assumptions. Cut loose the odd words, ones which clearly don’t fit in the rigid confines of business, ones surely not meant. Leave a framework of mundane. Puzzle a meaning from the scraps, a rhythm for the found poem butchered out of miscommunication. Send a response in English, cringe a little for the recipient, know they will likely do as you and turn to an app, a browser tab, punch in the words, frown at the nonsense.
When far away, an interrupted cry is not something you need concern yourself with. Catherine repeated her grandmother’s words softly enough that the room wouldn’t hear them. ‘Pah!’ Her father threw his cards on the coffee table. ‘You cheated!’ He jabbed a fat finger towards his wife. She shrugged and gathered his cards in again. Outside the cry echoed. ‘Catherine! You play the witch, God knows she already has all my money.’ Catherine nodded and slid from the widow seat. It doesn’t do to dwell on lost souls. Her grandmother had said that too. The cards were split and dealt. Two queens and a knave. A house leaking secrets. Another cry. Closer. Louder. ‘Pass or play?’ Catherine shook her head. ‘Pass,’ she whispered. Shadows gathered by the fireplace. She could ignore them, but the play would continue. ‘Pass,’ she whispered. But ghosts never listen. If you would like to join in the dVerse Poets Pub new link up ‘Prosery’ then click the badge above to visit their site. The challenge is to write a piece …
Does it count as taking your time, pausing between each item fingers on clasps, heartbeat a tempo dancing beneath the skin in a skip, skip rhythm I felt against my breastbone. Slid my foot along the seat of a chair like the one I sat in, bare skin cold against the plastic. Counted the buttons, two, four, six, stopped when they ran out and fabric hung loose from my shoulders. Open. Parted my thighs the same, slow, or maybe fast, the motion of it blurred in memory distracted by your face close to mine. Open mouthed. Kissed you, slowly. Open legs. I won’t say what we did next.
There is a collective misguided assumption, that we know the words. Singing like rusted taps, gargling and spluttering our way to the chorus where enthusiasm trumps experience, and pipes swell and burst so all is noise and furious revelry. The wave of it crests breaks, washes us along to the next line. As real as the misting of our breaths as we sing. The cold is not felt in the thick of it.
I was born in a house with an unlocked door, had to teach myself to turn the key at night and then in the day to keep the warnings on the other side of this slate of wood, varnished to look like an invitation. For the Thursday Photo Prompt: Invitation
Placed you up, out of reach, where you could be loved like an object. Perfect. Worshipped your tears and howls, as you begged for freedom.
So I blamed you, because it was easy, sweeter on the tongue. Didn’t have the bite of admitting I could have been wrong. I’ve just been writing up three longish poems so I felt something short and sweet was in order tonight.